• A section of the bowsprint and figurehead on the bow of BALCLUTHA.

    San Francisco Maritime

    National Historical Park California

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Logbook of the yacht Idler linked to Library

Yacht Idler logbook front cover
Front cover of yacht Idler's logbook
NPS photo
 

Among the items in San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park's archival collection of yacht racing-related items is an early 20th Century logbook of the yacht Idler kept by George M. Shaw, father of J. Porter Shaw.

The Idler logbook begins with Season 1901, California Yacht Club on April 13, 1901 and chronicles her voyages in and around San Francisco Bay and up the Sacramento River, covering nearly a dozen years. The sailing vessel was berthed at the California Yacht Club in Oakland, California. The logbook describes sailings for hunting, fishing and pleasure cruises, as well as several races in which the Idler participated. One such race, the Vincent Handicap Race was described on Sunday, September 30, 1906. Adhered to the pages of the logbook are a few newspaper articles describing sailing events and a program of the California Yacht Club Opening Night, April 18, 1903 where George M. Shaw is listed as commodore of the club and owner of Idler. There is also a separate (non-adhered) photocopy of a newspaper article about the Robert Vincent Handicap Trophy Race that lists Idler as a participant.

George M. Shaw recorded the names of guests aboard Idler in his logbook. For instance, the entry on December 26, 1906 reads, "Geo. M. Shaw and Porter Shaw went on board at 8 A.M."These were George M. Shaw's sons. Porter Shaw is the same J. Porter Shaw, whose extensive collection of maritime history materials formed the basis of the library's collection.

 
Yacht Idler logbook pages showing sons aboard
Pages of the yacht Idler's logbook
NPS photo

Did You Know?

Three sailors posing and the man on the left is holding a small dog.

Animals once served as important members of a ship's crew. Even though many of them worked to control pests or provide food, their main function was to serve as ship's mascot. The dogs, cats, birds, monkeys, and even bear cubs that went to sea as mascots, can often be seen in formal crew portraits. More...